Tribe Vibe's Pop Culture Monthly Roundup

Movies, Books, Magazines, Podcasts and more! The three of us at Tribe Vibe spend a lot of time discussing over coffee what is making us happy on the pop culture scene. Here are a few things that entertained us in September.



Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…

Social media exploded in the final days of September with images in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Blasey Ford has revealed her account of the sexual assault done to her by Brett Kavanaugh, Supreme Court judge nominee. Support for her bravery in coming forward was lighting up on all social media platforms. One word, HERO.

Film

RBG Film. Inspirational movie about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Is there anyone cooler than Ruth Bader Ginsburg right now? Seriously, at 80+ years old she is a total legend. Her new film, RBG, showcases her life from a young girl, through law school, marriage, motherhood, career, illness and Judge on the American Supreme Court. This is a must see film for anyone, but especially for young girls envisioning themselves as change makers of the present and future. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a boss. And if a book and film weren’t enough, she even has super cool merch available.


Book

Andre Agassi's boook, Open

Ok, so this book is not exactly current pop culture material but what can I say, I’m very late to the party on this one-like twenty years late. But hear me out, even twenty years later, it is really, really good. The book is filled with blasts from the past of high profile names of sports stars and celebs, the unforgettable fashion sense of the time (think mullet and lots of neon), as well as memorable big brand campaigns of the time (Canon Rebel). There is a dark side to the book as well. Aggasi’s complicated relationship with his father, his loneliness as an adolescent at tennis school, an unhappy marriage to Brooke Shields, and a short reckless period with drugs and alcohol. As the book comes closer to its final chapter you will find yourself rooting for Andre Aggasi on the court as well as in life. Definitely worth a read.


Podcast

Sandra. Current Podcast.

This is a podcast mini series on the voice behind the A.I. technology, Sandra (think equivalent to Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa.) When “Sandra” builds a friendship with one of her clients the story takes a very dark twisted turn. It’s definitely not an anticipated ending.


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A Movie Suggestion for Moms. Watch Mum's List (and have your tissues ready.)

The real Kate Greene of Mum's List

The real Kate Greene of Mum's List

When traveling on a plane, what is the first thing you look for when boarding? For myself, and my three children, the first thing we do, before even finding our seats, is to check the seat backs to see if there is an entertainment system. If there is, we all breath a giant sigh of relief. Then, immediately after finding our seats, we frantically scroll through the movie/tv list to see what is being offered, mentally preparing our movie viewing list for the flight.  Life is good, or at least as good as being cramped on a plane can be (especially on an Emirates plane because their entertainment system usually feels like an onboard, mini-iTunes.) 

This past week while flying, I went through the same scenario as above. I scrolled through the movie list and found one I had not heard of - Mum's List.  The description explained it as a true story of a mom who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. At this point, some of you might be saying "no, don't do it. Don't hit that play button." But I am usually a tiny bit steel-hearted when it comes to watching tear-jerker movies so I thought "sure, no big deal, I'll give this a try." I don't know if it was the fact that it was the end of the school year and I was exhausted or the fact that I was feeling extremely grateful to be with my three children and my fabulous (most of the time) husband heading out on a family trip of a lifetime, but.. wow.  The mantra, we hear over and over again, but never really seem to pay attention to, about being grateful for every moment, will hit you like a ton of bricks. I had tears rolling down my cheeks from the opening scene. Did I mention it was a True Story! Mum's List is my summer movie suggestion for moms (or anyone for that matter.) It will make you think about family, women fighting the battle with cancer, young love, old love, family love, tenderness, kindness, friendship, and grief that comes with all of this. Check out Mum's List. Just make sure to have the tissues handy.


Don't Forget to Pack this Photo App!

What’s a holiday without some good photos? With summer around the corner; it’s a good time to download a good app that will make these cherished moments look even better.

To be honest; we are spoiled for choices. But after numerous downloads; I have to say my favorite would be, queue drumrolls:  Snapseed from Google app.

snapseed photo editing

Not to say that other free apps like Instagram, VSCO or TouchRetouch aren’t great photo editing apps but I guess it just comes down to that personal level of control and user interface that you are most comfortable with.

Aside from having an impressive range of editing options and filters, which I will leave for you to discover; Snapseed stands out for me for these reasons:

1.  The tools are multi-dimensional; every tool has settings that give you control over the level of enhancement you want to apply.

You can use any tool, let’s say the color and light tuning, in a straightforward manner but then you can also adjust the sharpness, brightness or contrast in a specific area of the photo with different intensities. If you want to blur your photo; it will give you control over the blur intensity, center, transition…etc.

This is done through gesture based editing. For some tools like the brightness and contrast; you will swipe horizontally to increase/ decrease intensity; with other like blurring you will need to pinch in and out. This might be annoying for some at first but then becomes real fun. This photo app shows changes in real time and so you get to play around until the photo looks just right.

 If you’re not fussed or tight on time; you can always use quick edits. Use the magic wand that will automatically adjust all the brightness, contrast, saturation ..etc for your photo.

Now think of this when using filters, most photo editing apps like instagram offer great filters but may give your pics that over-stylized look. With Snapseed filters, you control the attributes like the filter strength, saturation , grain , noise..etc depending on the filter type.

I found that this high level of control over your photo editing tools and filter gives you endless possibilities.

2.      User Interface

Within the app, you can select an image already on your phone. At the bottom of the screen, insights will call up a number of tutorials you can watch.

Once the photo is open; the pencil sign bottom-right corner calls up the great Snapseed grid of editing tools and filters. When you pick a tool or filter, there's a control panel at the bottom of the screen where you can adjust the tools and save or discard your edits.

So far so good.  However, unique to Snapseed is the edits feature at the top which allow you to undo, redo, revert the file or apply last edits.

This will actually show you the steps you’ve done once you save the photo, pretty cool.

 If you’re a Photoshop or Adobe family user, you will feel very familiar with these. 

In addition, Snapseed has double exposure and face enhancements tools. With the face enhancement, you can not only play around with the skin smoothness and such but also change smile, pupil size or tilt the head in a different directions. Try it!

In conclusion, I think Snapseed is a great app for all but is best suited for those who like to control the level of polish to their photos. It might come off as overwhelming at first, but I think the time you put in will be worth it

Snapseed is for  (iOS|Android) and is completely free.


Summer TV binge List

Summer tv binge suggestions

As everyone gets their summer book list together, I fine tune a different, slightly less cerebral list. It's my summer tv binge list. I am not a traditional, loyal, week to week watcher. I'm more of a modern day binger when it comes to entertainment. SO summer is my time to plough through my backlog of shows begging to be watched. As I get ready to spend countless hours waiting in airports, long plane rides, and sleepless nights due to jet lag, one song keeps playing through my head, "Hello Netflix my old friend, I've come to watch with you again." It's time to get my pop culture entertainment vibe on. Here are the shows I am counting on to satisfy my TV appetite. Honestly, I know I won't get through even half, but one can dream :-) And please, if you have any "must watch" suggestions let me know. This in no way is a finite list ;-)

*all series images taken from IMDb website*.

Our summer ritual with the boys usually consists of being outside all day and then, after dinner, curling up on the couch for some screen time together. The chosen show has to meet the needs of a 10, 12, and 14 year old and not be too painful for the parents to sit through. This is a tough criterion to fill. We rarely find one that works for everyone so usually my youngest is watching something I never, in a million years, would have allowed my oldest to watch at the same age. What can I say, consistency is not my thing when it comes to entertainment upbringing. Here you have it, my tiny list of preteen/teen series we will pick from to watch.

I am also an avid podcast listener. Between the multiple daily school runs and my twice daily walks with Enzo, I probably average about two podcasts per day. With some long car rides ahead of me this summer I'm going to need my podcast list to be fully downloaded and ready to play. Here's what will be taking up room on my iphone.

Summer is almost here to induldge in some of the things we don't get time to do all year. Enjoy!


A Taste of DIFF all Year Round in Dubai

Vox cinema, Mall of the Emirates

Vox cinema, Mall of the Emirates

Dubai International film lovers are in luck. A small theatre in the Vox cinema chain, Mall of Emirates, is dedicated to showing DIFF (Dubai International Film Festival) films all year round. The show times are often, starting as early as 10am and running throughout the day. As a huge film lover, this was very exciting to learn about! The early morning showtime was the perfect opportunity for some girlfriends and I to meet to watch a film we probably wouldn't go out with our families to see. The film I had chosen for us was a British film, I, Daniel Blake. I had read rave reviews about the film and the icing on the cake was that it was the winner of the Palme D'Or award at the Cannes Film festival.

I, Daniel Blake

I, Daniel Blake

Daniel Blake is British construction worker who has suffered a serious illness and is trying to receive state aid/welfare. In the process he befriends a single mother who is also struggling to make the social system work for her. Lets just say the movie successfully tugs hard at the heart strings. It is beautifully written and acted and will have you reflecting on what is "fair and unfair" in many social systems around the globe. Don't leave home without your Kleenex, you will need it! I, Daniel Blake is definitely worth two hours of your time.


Miniatures Come to Dubai

What is your vision of Dubai? Expensive flashy cars? Shopping mall after shopping mall of extravagant items? Vast deserts speckled with camels? Architecture that keeps challenging itself to be the next latest and greatest? Tourists, tourists, and more tourists? Kandoras and abayas? While Dubai can be all of that, there is something the city  also has. A smart sense of humour about itself. While walking around City Walk early one morning, I was so happy to see Dubai’s sense of humour showing for all to see. There, near the Roxy theatre, on an outside wall was a series of “miniatures” based on the stereotypical culture and lifestyle of our city. UK artist Slinkachu has installed a series of large scale, clever photographs, that depict different Dubai settings. He combines life size elements with miniature elements to poke  whimsical fun at some common Dubai situations. . I challenge anyone passing by the exhibition  to leave without a smile on your face. Well done again Dubai for being able to see the humour in things. I loved it.